It's hard to reconcile the terms 'recession' and 'pet spending'.

"Americans are spending more on their pets than ever before, according to estimates in a new report.

The American Pet Products Association (APPA) says spending on pets in the US passed $50bn (£31.5bn) in 2011.

Food and veterinary costs accounted for about 65% of the figure, but the category of "pet services" grew faster than any other, totalling $3.79bn (£2.39bn) in 2011.

Pet services includes grooming, boarding, pet hotels, and pet-sitting.

Spending on pet services should continue to grow and reach $4.11bn (£2.59bn) by the end of 2012, said APPA President Bob Vetere"
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